Last updated April 22nd, 2022
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has set a constitutive document to establish the Virtual Finland testbed Dataspace targeted for different public and private organizations to start building seamless digital service paths for foreign individuals and companies interacting digitally with Finland. The Virtual Finland testbed offers an infrastructure for anybody to test trusted data sharing in their specific use cases.
The digital infrastructure is built upon capabilities such as digital identity, remote identification as well as data harmonization. All capabilities are developed cross-administratively with ongoing public and private projects and stakeholders, forming Virtual Finland into an innovation ecosystem and testbed for digital infrastructure and data economy innovations.
Virtual Finland testbed operations are set up under the contractual framework of a rulebook which is derived from the generic Sitra IHAN Rulebook template. We advise you to familiarize with the entire Virtual Finland Rulebook and its appendices.
The Parties of the Virtual Finland testbed accept an Accession Agreement and are thus bound by its terms and conditions as well as those of the Constitutive Document and the General Terms and Conditions as specified in the Accession Agreement and the Constitutive Document.
In addition, the Parties of the Virtual Finland testbed, as they organise Data Networks on the Virtual Finland testbed to share data, develop technology and evaluate Virtual Finland architecture and the testbed, in order to make a contractual arrangement to define the rules of the Data Network, may at their will
- set up a rulebook that is preferably based on the most recent version of Sitra’s Rulebook for a fair data economy,
- make their own agreements for the Data Network (example Co-creation agreement template available),
- or decide not to make any agreements for the Data Network, if they consider their existing legal rights and obligations with regard to the Data Network are adequate, provided that in any case the Data Network, its Members, and all the operations on the Data Networks are in accordance with and obeying the Accession Agreement, the General Terms and Conditions and the Constitutive Document, especially the Minimum Conditions defined in the Accession Agreement.
The following Appendices are a material part of this Accession Agreement:
- Constitutive Document (link) - the key conditions also declared as part of this online form
- Governance model (link)
- Description of the Virtual Finland testbed (link)
- General Terms and Conditions based on Sitra's (link)
- Code of Conduct (link)
- Glossary (link)
In the event that a discrepancy arises between any of the terms and conditions established in the Constitutive Document, the Accession Agreement, and General Terms and Conditions, including any of their appendices or schedules, any such discrepancy will be resolved in accordance with the following order of priority:
- The clauses of the Constitutive Document;
- The clauses of the Accession Agreement;
- General Terms and Conditions; and
- Other Appendices to the Constitutive Document in numerical order.
ACCESSION TO THE CONSTITUTIVE DOCUMENT
The Acceding Party has expressed its interest to accede to the Constitutive Document regarding the Virtual Finland testbed.
The Constitutive Document allows new Parties to accede the Virtual Finland testbed provided that they will comply with the conditions set forth in the Constitutive Document and below.
As the Acceding Party fulfils such requirements, the Acceding Party hereby accedes to the Constitutive Document and to the Virtual Finland testbed under this Accession Agreement. The Terms and conditions of the Constitutive document.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has established a testbed to create an infrastructure that enables Parties to test Virtual Finland architecture, technologies and future open standards. The Virtual Finland testbed will be put at the disposal of the Parties free of charge.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs agrees that new Parties may join the Virtual Finland testbed to share data and set up Data Networks subject to the following conditions:
- The Party shall be bound by an Accession Agreement defined in this Rulebook.
- The Party acknowledges and agrees that the uninterrupted availability and use of the Virtual Finland testbed as well as the permanence of data cannot be ensured.
- The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may set rate limits at its will, while Data Providers may set additional rate limits.
The Parties and Data Networks that the Parties set up on the Virtual Finland testbed are subject to the Minimum Conditions defined in the Accessing Agreement.
Nothing in this Constitutive Document or in Accession Agreements prevents or restricts The Ministry for Foreign Affairs or Parties from participating in any other data networks, platforms, ecosystems or any other cooperation or from using any services provided by third parties. Furthermore, sharing any of the Data within the Network does not prevent or restrict the respective Data Provider from sharing such Data with third parties at its own discretion.
GOVERNANCE OF THE NETWORK
The governance framework that applies to the Virtual Finland testbed is defined in further detail in the Governance model description of the Rulebook.
TERMINATION, AMENDMENTS, AND VALIDITY
This Constitutive Document is concluded from April 11th, 2022 after which it remains in force for an indefinite period and is subject to a termination period of one month after written notice to all the Parties.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs reserves the right to make any modifications and amendments or assign this Constitutive Document at its will. The modifications and amendments will be alerted to the Parties by updating the the ’last updated’ date of this rulebook and its Terms and conditions.
It is the responsibility of the Party accessing this Constitutive Document to stay up to date and review the Constitutive Document and its appendices periodically.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
The Virtual Finland testbed is provided as is without any warranty. It is the sole responsibility of the the Party accessing this Constitutive Document to make sure their testing setups are legally compliant. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not assume any liability in regards to interruption, corruption, loss or disclosure of services, processes and data hosted on the Virtual Finland testbed. The Party acknowledges and agrees the that the uninterrupted availability and use of the Virtual Finland testbed cannot be ensured and the Virtual Finland testbed is not meant for any kind of real production use. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may also remove any data from the Virtual Finland testbed at its will and limit rates to prevent the frequency of any operation from exceeding constraints that The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may freely set. In any case, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is not liable for any indirect damages.
APPLICABLE LAWS AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
This Constitutive Document is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Finland without regard to its principles of private international law and/or conflict of laws rules.
In case of any disputes arising from the interpretation of this Constitutive Document, the disputes shall primarily be resolved through negotiations between the Parties. If the Parties cannot reach a settlement by negotiation, the disputes under this Constitutive Document shall be submitted to the District Court of Helsinki.
Acceding Party commits itself to the following minimum conditions to be applied to the Data Networks and operations that Acceding Party participates in the Virtual Finland testbed:
- The ethical principles that apply to the Networks are laid down in (Code of Conduct). The Acceding Party agrees to comply with these ethical principles in good faith in connection with its conduct within the Virtual Finland testbed, all the Parties, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Data Networks on the Virtual Finland testbed.
- The Acceding Party agrees to keep The Ministry for Foreign Affairs updated concerning the Acceding Party’s contact person and/or contact information if they are changing.
- The Acceding Party agrees that The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be entitled to audit the Acceding Party’s processing data on the Virtual Finland testbed in accordance with the General Terms and Conditions, Chapter “Audit”. The purpose and the scope of the audit is limited to verifying compliance with the material requirements of the Constitutive Document, the Accession Document, their appendices, and applicable legislation.
- The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may at its discretion order a Party to remove data, software or services from the Virtual Finland testbed, if it comes to The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’s knowledge that the data, software, service, or any activity of the Party is violating this Accession Agreement, Constitutive Document, Description of the Virtual Finland testbed, or Code of Conduct, or is infringing any applicable law. The Acceding Party agrees to contribute and support such removal as per The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’s request.
DEROGATIONS FROM THE GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The following clauses of the General Terms and Conditions are not applicable to this Accession Agreement without prejudice to Parties right to apply them to agreements on Data Networks:
- All the clauses in Part 1 Applicability, scope and governance.
- In Part 2 Definitions, the definitions of “List of Members”, “Party” and “Member.
- All the clauses in Part 3 Role-specific responsibilities.
- All the clauses in Part 10 Termination and validity.
- All the clauses in Part 14 Applicable laws and dispute resolution.
- In Part 15 Other provisions, the 1st paragraph.
In addition, when the General Terms and Condition are applied to this Accession Agreement:
- “the Constitutive Agreement” refers to the Constitutive Document,
- “Data Network” refers to the Virtual Finland testbed,
- “Party” or “Member” refers to Party
- The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’s all responsibilities and liabilities with regard to this Accession Agreement and Constitutive Document are stated in the Constitutive Document and in the applicable legislation. The General Terms and Conditions shall not be interpreted to broaden The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’s responsibilities and liabilities.
ENTRY INTO FORCE AND APPLICATION
This Accession Agreement will enter into force as of its execution by the Acceding Party until terminated in one month's notice. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may at its discretion terminate the Accession Agreement effective immediately, if it comes to The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’s knowledge that the data, software, service, or any activity of the Acceding Party is severely violating this Accession Agreement, Constitutive Document, Description of the Virtual Finland testbed, or Code of Conduct, or is severely infringing any applicable law. Upon termination of the Accession Agreement, the Acceding Party shall immediately discontinue all use of the Virtual Finland testbed.
APPLICABLE LAWS AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
This Agreement is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Finland, without regard to its principles of private international law and conflict of laws rules. Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the Constitutive Document, Accession Agreement, any of the appendices, or the breach, termination or validity thereof, shall first be negotiated in accordance with the Governance Model. If some or all of the issues in the dispute are not resolved in the negotiation, the dispute shall be submitted to the District Court of Helsinki, unless the Acceding Party is an individual and an applicable law specifies another court.
Acceding Party accepts this Accession Agreement and its Appendices and expresses the Acceding Party’s willingness to be bound by their terms and conditions.